It can be difficult when life gets you down. Everything is going good and then out of nowhere it just seems like a tornado drops out of the sky and turns your world upside down. Ever felt that way? I know I have.
It can be hard to stay positive when you feel anything but happy. But, you don’t have to sink down into the dumps all the way.
To me, it seems when one thing is turned upside down that it’s very easy to have other areas of your life turn into un-stable ground as well. Situations that resemble sinking sand and the people whose words feel like a sword piercing your chest have a magnetic pull on you. In these kinds of situations, you need to tread carefully.
Here are some tips on how to stay positive even when life is hard.
1. Look For The Sparkle In The Ice.
I am from the midwest. So it gets really cold here in the winter. The land falls into a deep sleep and is covered with a blanket of snow and ice for a deep winter’s sleep for about 5 months out of the year.
I know when life get hard that it can be hard to see the good in things. But think of it this way. Imagine you are in a frosty forest. The tree’s branches are covered in a glassy sparkles. The sun peeks through branches and glistens off the glossy surfaces filling the forest with a gorgeousness.
Can you see it?
“Yes, but it’s cold out.” You might say.
But, isn’t it pretty?
The tough situation in our life: It’s cold out. (Fill in the blank with your tough situation.)
Surrounding Sparkles: It’s so beautiful outside. (Fill in the blank with something that is beautiful in your life or situation at this moment.)
2. Bless Someone.
When I was in highschool, I went through a time when I felt depressed. I remember talking to my parents and they encouraged me to help others that are in need. Although I still struggled with some of the things I was going through, I volunteered to serve food for the elderly. I met two really cool encouraging ladies who were quite inspiring to me. It helped me get out of my mind.
I really think that helps. During hard times look for the joy and happiness people get when you help them.
And sometimes you won’t be able to see how kindness will affect them.
Around Christmas this year, I was actually on the receiving end of being blessed by a stranger. My sister and I were going through the Starbucks drive-thru and when we got up to the window to pay, the lady handed us our drinks and said with a smile, “The person ahead of you paid for your drinks. Have a good Christmas.”
I was amazed. It set the whole day into motion on a good note.
I am going to set out to try and do this on a more regular basis. I’d like to see people blessed. It makes me happy. And maybe I will change a person’s life by doing a small good deed. It might seem small, but I know it means a lot.
3. Reward Yourself.
Lately, it’s been super busy for me. I’ve been working a full-time job as a Content Marketer (I love my job!) and writing any spare minute I get. I’ve also been planning a wedding (which everyone knows, can be stressful.)
Sometimes I think we forget to spoil ourselves. Or in another word—reward ourselves.
The other night I drew up a sudsy bath and read a book. It was really what I needed after a long day and weekend. Sometimes you just need to put aside your to-do list and do something fun for yourself.
Make it something relaxing. Find time to breathe and feel the calm around you. Get into nature. That’s always helped me.
4. Do Absolutely Nothing.
This one kind of connects with point number 3.
Give yourself the chance to do nothing. Throughout the day we do a whole lot. It’s really nice when you can give yourself the gift of doing nothing.
It’s a great way to recharge.
Some good examples of doing nothing:
- Watching your favorite television show.
- A sudsy bath.
- Read a book.
5. Confide In Those You Love.
There are times when you’ll feel the need to be quiet, but sometimes when you feel this way the best thing you can do is open up to those who love you.
Share your thoughts and situations with them. They will help you brainstorm.
Here are some ways to know who you can confide in:
- Do you feel safe around them?
- Do they make you feel good?
- Are they good listeners?
- Are they trustworthy?
- Do they gossip? (If so, don’t confide in them.)
- Are they mean? (If so, don’t confide in them.)
If you answered yes to the first four questions, confide in them. But if you answered yes to the bottom two questions it might be best to find someone else to confide in. You want to confide in someone who will listen to your thoughts and feelings and will try help you throughout the tough times.
6. Get Restful Sleep.
“Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sleep is super important. You know this. I know this. Everyone knows this. And yet, we all abuse it. Your brain needs time to rest and rejuvenate and relax so it can prepare for a new day.
I try to aim for 6-7 hours of sleep usually, but I tend to be a vampire who stays up later into the night than I should. I guess that’s part of being a night owl.
How many hours do you sleep a night? Here is a list filled with sleeping habits of some of the most successful people.
7. Get An Inspiring Message A Day.
There are email subscription services out there that allow you to sign up for an inspiring message a day. Once you sign up they will send you a quote, Bible verse, or photo of the day.
It’s kind of like having a “word of the day” sent to you, but instead of it being a word, it’s a small morsel of inspiration.
Here are some of my favorites:
There are many inspiring things online that have ___________ of the day. Find some that you look forward to checking every day. It’ll add a sense of excitement to checking your email in the morning.
8. Embrace The Quiet
We spend so much time with other human beings. After spending a whole day out and about, I crave stillness. I want to hear nothing but the wind hitting the side of my house or the quiet company of my fellow “hermit-like” family and friends. the moment I’ll be able to relax and breath in a quiet atmosphere.
I feel like our world is all about going, going, going… and it never stops. It keeps spinning. The clock keeps ticking. People go to work in the morning and come home at night, probably usually during rush hour.
With all the noise racing around it can be hard to find a quiet place where you can just close your eyes and breathe without hearing the loud lady talking on her cell phone in your favorite store.
9. Read Inspiring Blogs.
I get stuck online reading tons of awesome blogs when looking for inspiration and a little pick me up.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- A Beautiful Mess – A lovely creative blog run by two sisters. There are countless DIY, recipes, and fun posts on this site.
- Blacksburg Belle – A creative lifestyle and marketing blogger.
- Dean Street Society – A wonderful fashion stylist and Instagram coach. I really love her monthly dressing challenges.
- CoSchedule – I love CoSchedule and I don’t just say that because I work there. But we have some of the best content on marketing, social media, and writing out there.
10. Find Inspiring Pinterest Boards And Instagram Pages.
I LOVE Pinterest and Instagram.
There is just something about getting so many ideas.
Here are some of my favorite Pinterest boards:
Some of my favorite Instagram accounts:
11. Spend Time With Uplifting People.
The best thing to do when you find yourself in a hurting or vulnerable place is to surround yourself with the strongest, finest, most positive people you know. – Kristin Armstrong
They who you spend time with is who you’ll become. Take this to mind when it comes to picking who you’ll spend your time with.
There are plenty of people out there who are great and uplifting friends. The kinds who you feel refreshed after hanging out with. There are also a kind of people out there that take your energy away from you. They cling onto you and take any piece of energy that they can get from you.
Whenever I’ve hung out with that kind of a person, I go home feeling empty, tired, and lacking energy to do anything.
That’s not the way you want to feel after hanging out with friends. You want to feel uplifted. To feel like a better person than you were before.
This makes me think of Picasso. I read Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like An Artist” and in it, he shared a story of a sculptor, named Brancusi, who knew Picasso. This is what was written:
“After a pleasurable day in Picasso’s company, those present were apt to end up suffering from collective nervous exhaustion. Picasso had made off with their energy and would go off to his studio and spend all night living off it. Brancusi hailed from vampire country and knew about such things, and he was not going to have his energy or the fruits of his energy appropriated by Picasso.”
12. Create Something For You.
When I create things I feel happy.
I am doing what I love. Want to do what you love?
Ask yourself this:
- What do I love to create?
- How can I create something new more often?
My mom once did an art challenge where she sketched something new everyday. I also know a writer who wrote a new short story every day. These small things help you stay happy and steady in this unsteady world of craziness.
What is something that you could create every day? Just for you?
My answer for this question? I need to write every day. I am planning to write at least 500 words a day. And if I write more that’s awesome.
A few months ago when I was back at my parents house I found a box filled with a bunch of my childhood journals. Some were decorated in beading, while others had pretty illustrated pictures of flowers and animals on them.
Inside I wrote all my thoughts and feelings out. Sometimes I also wrote my struggles in there. Which of course the struggles of an 8-year-old seem like nothing compared to the things one much deal with in their 20s and on.
Journaling is a cool way to just brain dump. Write out everything. And it’s a cool place where you don’t have to worry about grammar or spelling.
Start a journal this month and write down your thoughts and goals.
14. Practice Gratitude.
This one has a lot to do with journaling. When you start your journal just start out by writing down the things you are grateful and thankful for.
Here are some things to think about when you write:
- Did anything special or neat happen today?
- What am I thankful for today?
- What are some things that I’d like to do to make myself better?
- How can I bless other people?
15. Think About Having A Quiet day – of silence.
I once heard of a lady who decided to take on silence for a whole day.
But, now I’m not saying that you need to take on total silence and say nothing at all.
Just set out on a day where you can quiet your mind. When people talk, don’t think about what you are going to answer with. Just listen. When they are done speaking then answer them.
Maybe you could call it thoughtful silence.
16. Feed Yourself Books, Movies, Videos, And More.
On the weekends, it’s so easy for me to binge watch my favorite television show. That’s not the most productive thing to do on a weekend. But it’s good to give yourself a break once in awhile.
If that means taking a bath and reading a good book or listening to an audiobook. It might also count for watching your favorite tv show at night.
Give yourself a chance to relax and take in inspiration and stories that will fill you with creativity and new ideas.
17. Get Out And Move.
Get out and move it, move it. That makes me think of the lemur in Madagascar who always said “I like to move it, move it. I like to mooooove it!”
He had a good motto. We should all be moving more throughout the day. As a writer and content marketer I spend a lot of time typing at a desk. So, I know as good as anyone that I should be moving more.
This week I am going to be starting the Kayla Itsines fitness program. I really look forward to it. 2016 is a year that I want to be true to myself as an artist and as a healthy human being! What about you? There are some great ideas on how to do so here.
What about you? What is one thing you can start doing this week to start living a healthier life?
It could be as small as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking a walk at lunch like a friend and I do at work during lunch break.
How To Be Positive This Year
I hope that all of these ideas help you find happiness this year. Find things that truly make you happy and fill your life with joy, inspiration, and excitement.
When you push yourself to grow in positivity you’ll have more to look forward in life. Continue to seek the sparkles in the snow.
What are some things that help you stay positive?